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Re: [RC] [RC] [RC] How should a horse back? - Laurie Durgin

My hunch too. Through lots of arena work ,we are working on the "not resisting the bit",and it isn't a quick fix. I just keep doggedly after it.I noticed the difference ,when starting my other horse, how less resistant she was. He is responding, but it isn't a 30 day thing. I am working with getting him to give to the bit when I ask, and sometimes ,particularly on his right side , he will just stiffen to it, walking a good length of the ring or untill he is nose to the fence. Eventually he gives,I release and praise him ,rub him etc. I think , he is finally decides ,ok, as long as you are consistant, then I will do it.
Myler bit people suggested I use a level 2 bit, with the hinged barrel and small port. He does give better in it, but in an ideal world ,I'd like to use a snaffle. I mistakenly used a pelham to try to trail ride him in the beggining(when I didn't know anything at all), and he bucked , head flipped etc, till I had to get off.I figured out , harsh bits wern't a training measure on the trail. Later I used a snaffle or waterford and he'd be ok---eventually, as in stopping.
Some dressage work has helped both of us. He can do some diagonal work, and half-halts and transitions have improved his resposiveness.
He has in the past run out on the shoulder ,(I learned to double , after I learned this he quit).He would try to drop and spin and run home occasionally.(I learned to catch him and we'd do circles on the trail till he'd listen).He'd try to decide the gait, pace. I started using half-halts or turn him and make him walk, before i't turn him around and go back again.
And of course it was my fault, we were green, I was a 'passenger', but he wasn't a 20 yr old plug, he wanted to go somewhere and do something ,and it was ok if I rode with him , but just don't try and get in his way. Then he had some fear issues, spooky stuff, crosssing water, being alone. But we managed to work that stuff out.
I guess we are more partners now, and as long as I remember I decide, not him, although I listen to his concerns we are ok.
I really do understand the quote "When you ask an arab to do something he says 'why?""
Your right I dont' want him behind the bit and the resistance is connected...
So I kind of had decided the backing needs to take 2nd place to the giving and stopping.But , Yippe , KI-yee, he is stopping better, not 100% yet, but it used to be not for 20 feet or so )(from a walk) and he is even beginning to stop from a trot.I may have died and gone to heaven.
My only consulation ,is when I took him to 2 demo rides (before he got EPM), he was a whole lot better behaved trained ,behaved than other new horses there.
Plugging onward Laurieand Rascal

From: "k s swigart" <katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Laurie Durgin" <ladurgin@xxxxxxx>,<ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [RC]   [RC] How should a horse back?
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 00:00:10 -0700

From: "Laurie Durgin" <ladurgin@xxxxxxx>
> Of course he resists the bit, his name is Rascal!!!!

If he resists the bit, he cannot "properly" be taught to back.  So to
properly teach him to back, you don't need to bribe him with carrots,
you need to teach him not to resit the bit and THEN teach him to back.

To provide you with an idea of how advanced of a movement the rein back
is, it is not asked for in a dressage test until second level....at the
same time as collection.

If you are asking, "how can I teach him to back properly, in balance, on
cue without first teaching him to accept my hand (since some people
don't use bits...and they aren't required)?"

The only answer I can give is, "I can't help you."

>   Then I remembered , of course he can back, when we first started
> trailriding, if he got scared and stopped and someone tried to force
> he'd get light and back quite well.

Actually, this is probably an example of one of those "incorrect forms
of the rein back" that Noel Jackson mentioned, "Running back against the
aids, out of control."

And, as I said, this can be hell to fix, as he is not resisting the bit
but just behind it, and behind the bit is very difficult to fix because
you can't push on the reins.  One of the things you risk by trying to
teach a horse that resists the bit to back (before teaching him not to
resist), is putting the horse behind the bit permanently.

Some people like their horses behind the bit, personally, I hate it. :)

Orange County, Calif.

I don't think you have to join a gym or buy frilly outfits to get some
fitness. A decent set of shoes and a 15 minute dismount here and there
will help.
~ Jon K. Linderman, Ph.D., FACSM, Assistant Professor of Health and Sport Science, University of Dayton

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When you ask a Quarter horse for something he says - Sure - and when you
ask an Arab for something he says - Why? - ~ Heidi Smith

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